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A cash-strapped museum nut in Asia: Where to go?

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Hello, everyone. For my graduation trip next year, I plan to visit some family in the Philippines and would like to see a bit of Asia as well. I've never traveled in Asia so I have no idea what each country has to offer in terms of museums, architecture, and historical sites -- things I greatly enjoyed while traveling around Europe last year.

I'm partial to places where English is more or less understood. This would be my first time in a country where I don't at least partially understand the language and it's one of my biggest concerns. I love walking and try to get around on foot whenever I can. Lastly, I understand safety is a concern everywhere, but as I'm a young female travelling alone, somewhere I can wander around safely would be great.

Friends have suggested Vietnam, South Korea and Japan. I'd appreciate any other suggestions and specifications on which cities/towns to visit. Thanks, everyone!

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